Alligator escapes enclosure at California zoo and becomes TikTok star

Reptile named Darth makes brazen jump for food in clip

Louise Hall
Tuesday 10 August 2021 15:36
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<p>The Reptile Zoo shared footage of the eager reptile jumping his enclosure on TikTok </p>

The Reptile Zoo shared footage of the eager reptile jumping his enclosure on TikTok

A local reptile zoo in California has gained a huge fanbase after one of its alligators escaped an enclosure while on video and became a TikTok star.

The Reptile Zoo in Fountain Valley’s social media pages went viral this month after a gater named Darth was caught jumping out of his enclosure during feeding time.

In the clip, Julie Brewer, one of the owners of the family-run business can be seen reaching out to feed a number of reptiles who clamour for food.

One of the gaters suddenly becomes over-eagre and jumps completely out of the enclosure to get a front-row seat to feeding time.

The reptile grabs onto the metal arm that the feeder is holding as she laughs in disbelief as the gater sits on the floor.

“Well this wasn’t expected”, The Reptile Zoo wrote in a caption alongside the video. “The questions is how does he get back in?”

The video has since amassed more than 80 million views on the platform and created quite the stir in the comments.

“Not seeing another video posted since this one. pls confirm you’re alive,” Netflix’s official account joked in a response underneath the clip.

“Happy to say we made it and Darth Gator is back in his home,” the zoo said in response.

https://www.tiktok.com/@thereptilezoo/video/6991092141220973829?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.insider.com%2F&referer_video_id=6991092141220973829&refer=embed&is_copy_url=0&is_from_webapp=v1&lang=en&sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=6979245447127025158

In a subsequent clip, Ms Brewer and her father, Jay Brewer, can be seen picking the beast up themselves to put it back into the enclosure.

“Only one way out and only one way in luckily we raised Darth from a baby and he’s very mellow for a gator,” they wrote in a caption alongside the follow-up video.

The local zoo currently has over 10 million followers on the platform, and according to ABC7 the owners say the boost has been brilliant for buisness.

“We had a billion views last month, 1 billion views in a 30-day period. That’s pretty crazy,” Mr Brewer told the outlet.

The viral clips have apparently drawn customers to come to meet the reptiles in person, with Anissa Cardenas telling the broadcaster that said she saw the animals on Snapchat and decided to visit.

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